Austal USA has been awarded a $235 million contract for design and construction of an additional expeditionary fast transport ship, EPF 15.
The Mobile-based shipbuilder has already delivered 12 of the EPF craft.
“At its core, the EPF is designed to be highly capable, flexible and affordable,” said Rusty Murdaugh, who is Austal USA chief financial officer and interim president. “With this baseline, we’ve been able to deliver multiple ships that are performing different missions for the U.S. military. The award of EPF 15 allows the Navy to leverage a hot production line and highly trained workforce to continue producing ships that are meeting the needs of warfighters today and into the future.”
The EPF craft has a 13-foot draft and water jet propulsion, allowing it to access “austere and degraded ports,” while being easily maneuverable on open water, with speeds up to 35 knots.
Described by the military as the “pick-up truck” of the fleet, the craft have been used for ‘humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, maritime security, surveillance, command and control, counter narcotics, and additional operations in almost every region of the world,” Austal said in announcing the award.